Monday, 14 November 2011
Family Dining at the Red Hot World Buffet
After her pizza slices fresh from the pizza oven, which proved a hit, the youngest (who is also into noodles) joined me at the Teppanyaki and Noodles section, one of ten live cooking stations around the buffet. We selected, from containers in front of us, the type of noodles we wanted, then the meat and vegetables. We passed these to the chef who stir-fried them on a hot plate with our choice of sauces. As throughout the buffet, most of the counters are low so that children have no problem seeing the food. The element of theatre and having food cooked while you watch is one of the best things about this buffet experience.
Both girls also took a liking to the adjacent Tex Mex and Louisiana sections, and corn-on-the-cob, nachos, quesadillas, olives and potato wedges were all sampled approvingly (although the youngest found the Taco tray filled with chilli and sour cream a bit hot for her taste). There are also beef burgers and BBQ chicken on offer in these sections, which I recommend as a diversion for dessert-fixated kids.
We were given a tour of the buffet by Saurabh Khare, who had previously worked at the Liverpool branch. The chain was started in Nottingham in 2004 by Helen and Parmjit Dhaliwal, although Saurabh reckons it was in Liverpool that things really took off. Cardiff is the seventh Red Hot Buffet and Bar to open; in three year’s time they hope to have a total of 25 restaurants like this in the UK.
Cardiff has 35 highly-qualified chefs cooking up some 300 dishes. They specialize in particular cuisines, as Saurabh points out, so chefs from Chinese backgrounds are more likely to be cooking Chinese food, and so on. Additional buffet areas have been created in Cardiff, most notably the central live dessert station where six pastry chefs work. There are some beautifully-crafted confections on show, behind the display of over thirty tempting desserts. Saurabh admiringly admits one of the chefs is a bit of an artist. Looking up, we see previously unseen chefs on a mezzanine floor preparing salads.
I don’t want to give the impression that this is a children’s restaurant. It might not be the best place for a children’s party, for instance, whereas the place is made for office parties (all tastes and cultures catered for). Younger children also need close supervision around the buffet due to the hot food. However, children are made very welcome at Red Hot World Buffet and it provides a unique family dining experience. Best of all, it’s a great place for children to try out new types of food, which they might not have tasted before.
Red Hot World Buffet and Bar
3-6 Hills Street, St David’s Dewi Sant
Cardiff CF10 2LE
Set prices (Children under 10 eat for half price)
Lunch: Adults from £7.99 (rising to £12.99 on Sundays when they are open all day)
Dinner: Adults from £12.99 (rising to £14.99 on Friday and Saturday evenings)
You can book online:
Opening night at Red Hot World Buffet Cardiff: